Biblical Christianity is based on faith. We start a relationship with God based on faith, and we continue in our relationship with Him based on faith. All throughout the Bible we are called to exercise faith as we pursue God. So it’s important to make sure we understand what faith really is. In classic Christian teaching, there are three Latin words that are often used to describe the different elements faith.
The first word is Noticia, which simply means information. The idea is that faith is rooted in knowledge. Faith isn’t just a feeling you have or some blind optimism, it’s based in factual information. In order to exercise faith in something, you have to know something about it. Putting faith in something you have no information about is foolish and unwise. So in order to exercise faith in God, we need to know the right information and facts about Him.
The second word is Assentia, which means to acknowledge something, or give assent that something is true. Once you have knowledge about something, you have to determine whether or not it is true. If you have been learned some information about God but are not sure whether or not you believe that information, you don’t have faith.
The final word is Fiducia, which means to trust. Once you know the right information and believe that information is true, faith is not complete until you are actually willing to trust in that information you believe. Trust means that you’re actually moved to action and change based on the information you believe.
It’s vital to understand that faith is not merely knowledge about informtaion or even intellectual assent to that veracity of that information. There are many people that know lots of information about God and might even believe that information. But they do not have a relationship with God until they are willing to trust Him for their salvation and follow Him throughout their lives.